Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction, and all characters appearing in this blog are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is either fictitious or used to state facts. All distortions to real facts were intended only for the purpose of entertainment, and absolutely nothing else.
I got a call early in the morning today, that the last witness in President Begin’s trials has been brutally killed in Kiryat Motzkin, Haifa. His name was Professor Yaakov Keret. I rushed to the place, because stating the obvious; THE PRESIDENT WAS THE NEXT TARGET. When I reached the crime scene and saw what was in store for me, I really wished I hadn’t come. The body was literally mutilated like chewed food. The forensics expert Ronit Kolirin studied the body and the blood spatter carefully, and I could see it in her face that even she was uneasy, just standing around it, let alone study it. It was just not undemanding to understand what exactly took this man’s soul away. After being stabbed so many times, the professor was injected with Rloredophan on his neck, which is essentially a military grade experimental biological weapon. If injected into the blood stream, the cells undergo fission, and almost instantaneously the particles cause micro-explosions in the blood vessels which rupture the skin. So technically, it is the most painful way to die. We turned the house upside down and found no trace, no fingerprint and no evidence whatsoever. This obviously meant that whoever was doing this, knew what they were doing. They were acting fast, and wanted to squander time, our time. The note indicated that he exactly knew our moves, and the fact that we would beef up The President’s security. It was astonishing how he has been one step ahead of me all the time. The only lead I could really follow was the Rloredophan; the previous knowledge of which was that there are 10 vials of the drug in a single confined box sealed in a closed government agency building, which is not even accessible to the scientist who synthesized it. So once I know, how those vials got out of a high security military compound in Jerusalem, I may have some leads. So I made some calls, and confirmed the theft, which until now was thought as mislaid by someone. There had to be someone on the inside doing this. I asked the agents of the FTC to investigate the leads there. In the meantime, I ordered the local police to sweep the area, gather intell, and go through the CCTV’s which were around. Ronit after examining the body said that the stabbing had been done by a special kind of a knife, which was commonly used by knife throwers. So possibly those came from a combat practice area nearby, because circuses were stopped in Israel three decades ago. My agent reported that a man saw a white SUVs driving from the alley near the professor’s building at around the time of his death. Visiting that alley helped me narrow my search, because the store-cam of the shop opposite the ally gave me a face. There were three people, in black, as if they were in uniform, and they had a bag (of knives) with blood on it. They tried to hide their face, but this one guy wasn’t careful enough. I knew I got him; this was the breakthrough I was craving for. Running the frames in the database, the facial recognition picked him up as an Itshak Sela. I recognized him almost immediately, as he has been in the Interpol radar with connections with the Taj Mahal attack in 1999. He was a professionally trained gunman and knife expert and was a chief aid of Nicolai Pasha, the head of the Ansar-al-Mujahedeen (AAM). Nicolai Pasha was on top of the Interpol wanted-list. He had some kind of a personal vendetta against President Begin, and has expressed his ‘disgust’ against him as ‘he had defrauded Israel’. But afterall, it took just one stone to bring Goliath down, and I knew somewhere in my head, that Sela was that one stone. Our computers in the Ministry of Defense have remote access to all traffic cameras of the country, and it just took the techs five minutes to obtain where that white SUV was at, right now. It was in an auto repair shop (which was incidentally near a combat training facility, which explained the knives), belonging to an old man called Meir. We reached the place, and tied Meir up. Once asked, he did not say anything, other than denying any knowledge of Sela or the others. UV fingerprint detectors clearly indicated that Sela was there not more than 10 minutes ago. My agents asked me if they should use any extreme techniques on the old man. Since it was a ‘ticking bomb scenario’, I complied and allowed the old man to be water boarded, until his asthma kicked in. Tied up, and unable to breathe, he gave away and pointed to a wall being just saved by the bell. As much we had hoped, it wasn’t really a wall as such. Breaking it open, revealed a tunnel, at the end of which the son of a gun was found with a capsule of cyanide in his hand almost about to gobble it. We were just on time, to capture him alive. After roughing him up a little, I called the director of Shin Bet, Israel’s Security Agency, Yoshsef Dorot and asked him if he wanted custody of Sela for further questioning. He suggested, that I interrogate him right away, as The President will leave for the press meet with the United Nations Secretary General Miguel Caputo followed by the signing of the treaty scheduled at the Stella Maris Lighthouse, Haifa in some time and that it was important to break Sela, because the most probable attempt on the President’s life has to be today. I knew Sela was military trained and specially trained by the AAM for interrogations and it would not be an easy task to get the type of attack, its location and also Pasha’s location in this much time. The secret to breaking the toughest people, is their background, their file. Sela was recruited in 1995 when he was just a mere 16 years old, reportedly abducted by Pasha, from his poverty-ridden hamlet in Afghanistan. Promised of good care and support to the family, and regular money, Sela was taken and trained through the years. And all throughout his journey from a peasant boy to a criminal mastermind, he never forgot to secretly provide for his family. Israeli Intelligence had knowledge about this, and knew that looking out for family was uncommon for terrorists. But it was very good news for me, as I had already ordered my agents near Kabul, to get hold of Sela’s family. In less than an hour, they confirmed to have seized Sela’s family, and the interrogation was a go-go. He hadn’t spoken a word, even after being in the Shabach position for more than an hour now. I wanted to do this on my terms, because during my time in the military I was a trained interrogator, and I had really banned ideas involving permanent damage in my troubled head. And even though I am not very proud of this, but once I lose my calm, I am unstoppable. I asked him politely to give me intell, but he was just quiet, as expected. I ordered hot bitumen to be poured over his leg. Then we let it cool and pulled the tar off, pulling his muscles off his legs with it. He couldn’t bear the pain, and was beginning to pass out. Before he could, I gave him a shot of adrenaline, and asked him the question again. He said he doesn’t know anything. I skyped in a live feed from Kabul of his sister, with a gun pointed to her neck. Sela, seeing this started sobbing, and I asked him again, “tell me about the attack or I will paint your wall, with your sister’s brain”. Crying, he denied any association with Pasha, or the attack which was eminent. I was furious now. I ordered the agent to pull the trigger. Silence…. And he did. Sela was quiet, and cold now, but he still hadn’t said a word yet. I gave him another shot of adrenaline and asked my men to open his pants. I ordered them to pour the tar, on his private part now, to which he cried out, “Stella Maris, Stella Maris” “What about Stella Maris?” “President Begin….” (Kick to the gut) “What will be the attack like?” “All I know is that there will be a sniper and a rocket launcher. That’s all I know.” “Where is Pasha?” “He will be the one pulling the trigger” “Where is the damn sniper?” “This is all I know, believe me, this is all I know..” I at once ordered all the resources at my disposal, to stop the President’s cavalcade from reaching the premises. But the antagonists had done a good job in diverting our resources and wasting a lot of time. And moreover, there was a crowd of over 11,000 people waiting there for the signing of the treaty, to be a part of a very historic day. At that time, one of my agents brought a burglary to my attention. I hardly had any time to investigate common burglaries and they were not my concern at that moment of time but he asked me for a moment to explain as it affected ‘national security’. “Sir, this may be a hunch, but I think this is not just a burglary. This is a hostage situation and there are at least 20 people who have control of the entire building. The building belongs to an IT firm, and the building is near the Stella Maris Monastery with a direct view of the lighthouse from its 12th floor and above.” This hit me between the eyes, I understood exactly what this meant, and immediately ordered for a completely military infiltration into the building. The building was attacked from the ground as well as from the air, and a 15 minute gun battle and infiltration gave us a sniper on the 15th floor aimed exactly at the Stella Maris, but without anybody to fire it. There were reports of two more similar break-ins and hostage situations in Haifa itself. This was not good news, because there could be numerous snipers, and there would be just one shooter and the rest would be just diversions. Or there wouldn’t be any snipers at all. This was Pasha’s ingenious idea to ensure minimum resistance when he initiates the actual attack. What do I do now? While all this was underway, news from Jerusalem about the stolen vials came that, it was indeed AAM which took the Rloredophan from the agency. There was more bad news. One more box containing vials of the newly synthesized nerve gas Kolokol-7 has been missing. Kolokol-7 was developed for use as an aerosolizable incapacitating agent and if released in small amounts into the public, it can turn the entire 2km radius region, into a ghost town within an hour. Now it was evident that none of the snipers were really meant to kill. Ronit called me right then, just to tell me that Kolokol-7 in normal conditions requires heat to stay alive before being ejected into the atmosphere. I rushed to the place where the treaty was being signed, the reception hall of the Stella Maris Lighthouse. I asked my best agents to respond to all the sniper diversions, and unbelievably there were seven break-ins in the past half hour, all dead ringers, so very aptly placed and timed with the President’s meet with the UN Secretary General Miguel Caputo. But the threat was still eminent, and all I knew was that there was a dangerous gas ready to be released, and it was innovatively disguised with something hot. Probably it’s a fireplace, or a car exhaust, or even just a kettle with hot water. I was back to square one. Again. The President reached and at my cue started his address to the crowd, only after I had ensured that all the snipers around the lighthouse were cleared, because the entire event was being staged outside. But I had this gut feeling, that there is someone somewhere out there with a sniper aimed, slithering towards us. This was because Pasha hadn’t been found yet, even though forty of his men had. I climbed up the lighthouse, and looked around. The sea, was supposed to be clear of boats and other activities, because we beefed up the security, but a reflection of the sunlight hit my eyes, a small source from somewhere near the horizon. It was some kind of a mirror or a lens, and it suddenly struck me, that it could be a sniper rifle already aiming at this entire place. I climbed down, and took the President by the hand not allowing him to finish his address, and walked him to the Reception Hall while simultaneously asking my agent to escort the Secretary General too to safety. Almost immediately after this, everybody heard a sound, there was a small hole in the window facing the sea, and somebody exclaimed ‘aaahh’, and I looked behind. It was the UN Secretary General Miguel Caputo, with blood on his white shirt. There was calmness around, and everything was slow. “He’s shot, somebody call an ambulance..!” All of a sudden there was panic, commotion among the crowd and they started running in all directions, and causing a major exit-bottleneck. Since there was just one door out, there was a stampede. But I, as of then didn’t have time to worry about a stampede right now. Once the shooter realized that he missed the President, he started to empty his cartridge shooting at the public. He killed eight more people from that crowd tumult. The president had been taken to the reception hall, but I knew that a ticking bomb with nerve gas is there somewhere in the hall, and I had no leads, or even a clue on where it was. Suddenly, with the entire ruckus going on outside, I rushed inside, and my eyes suddenly went to the buffet tables, where there were at least nine chafing dishes with slow warmers below them. A sudden sense of coldness filled me, because the bomb was screaming at me now, and it could go off any time. So to evacuate the hall I had no option, but to use my firearm, from which I fired the entire magazine towards the air screaming, “Evacuate, everybody evacuate”. I told one of my agents to call the National Biological Quarantine Agency (NBQA), to seal off the entire area. And as I pulled the President out, (saving him from the shooter at the sea) shoved him to his car, and as soon as I drove it away, a huge explosion filled my ears. I saw the smoke emerging from the hall. The worst thing ever happened to Israel, was on my rear mirror right now. And it is not the good feeling, especially when you are the Head of Security. I drove the President to an underground bunker, impenetrable by any force, just outside Haifa where the Vice-President and other agents were waiting for both of us. The president asked my family also to the bunker, and we stayed there for the next two days, until the dust of nerve gas, the dust of confusion, the dust of terrorism settled down. Eleven years have passed by, and President Benjamin Begin continues as The President of Israel, for the third straight term. The peace treaty with the UN was signed two years after that incident, and Israel continues to grow to greater heights and is recognized as one of the most advanced countries in the world. That incident eleven years ago changed the lives of a lot of people. Stella Maris Lighthouse is no longer open to the public, but a large memorial has been built in the honour of the 206 brave civilians and military personnel who perished that day. Mr. Miguel Caputo made a complete recovery from the wound he suffered. The man who shot him, one of Pasha’s men was found dead of a self-inflicted bullet wound, floating on a raft, about 2 kilometres from the coast. Itshak Sela’s leg was amputated, and he still remains a high profile prisoner in the Jerusalem state penitentiary. His family was reportedly killed by Pasha. Nicolai Pasha was never found. We were close, but there wasn’t any cigar. Intelligence suggests that he lives in India, with connections all around the world now. Extensive investigations and a long money trail led us to convict two high ranking Israeli politicians helping Pasha, and they were tried and executed for treason. Well, what am I doing? I served as the Vice President of Israel for five years, and withdrew after one term to spend time with my lovely new wife, Ronit Kolirin and my two little ones. Many like me didn’t live to see this day, because of the evil strategies of some ‘local boys with a grudge’. May we pledge to extinguish terrorism and war from this world, and from our lives too. עם ישראל חי Am Yisrael Chai Long live Israel.